I haven’t made muffins in a while. This cannot be a good thing. Something about karmic balance or upsetting the space-time continuum or possibly a disturbance in The Force. Whatever. So I made a batch of caramelly protein muffins.
To set things right.
With a surprise in the centre.
Featuring an AWESOME frosting.
I knew the frosting was awesome as soon as I did my obligatory taste test. When my trainer also thought it was fabulous, I knew it for sure.
Obviously, no real caramel was going to be harmed in the quest to make these muffins caramelly in flavour. Instead a nifty combination of key ingredients gives them a nice little caramel note and sweetness … without any added sugar or sweeteners. Dates are the sweetening agent for the muffins and I’ve combined dates and raw organic lucuma powder in the frosting. Never heard of lucuma? Google it … it’s a subtropical fruit from Peru, and has been a dietary staple there since ancient times. It used to be known as the “Gold of the Incas”. Aside from being a nutrient dense and very healthy food, I also love it for its maple like flavour. Combined with dates, you get this lovely caramel, maple, date sweetness. No need to add sugar or artificial sweeteners at all. It’s lovely.
I’ve often been asked why I use a lot of liquid egg whites instead of whole eggs, given egg yolks are such powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, funky good things. Well, honestly, I use both, depending on what I happen to have handy. Occasionally, I just want to add some extra lightness, particularly for protein recipes, so I may choose to use egg whites only. So I’ve included both whole egg and egg white versions below, as well as for the macronutrient information at the bottom of the recipe. This time, I used whole eggs to make the muffins.
That awesome frosting is so good, you could make it and use on anything or as a dessert over fruit, whatever. I’d like to use it to frost the Chocolate Orange Fudge Bars. Wow.
So what’s the surprise centre? A whole cherry. Just an added burst of fruity goodness in the centre. You can omit the cherry or substitute banana (oh my!) or berries, or anything you like. Almond or peanut butter would be great. Chocolate would be sensational. Up to you. Just remember that it may affect the macros, so use whatever fits with your goals.
These muffins are gluten-free (make sure you use GF oats and baking powder), have a decent protein hit, and are low in fat.
Energy to move, power to lift
Makes 10 small muffins (1/3 cup capacity) OR 6 standard muffins
78 grams medjool dates (pitted weight, about 4 medium dates)
30 grams rolled oats (preferably gluten-free)
3 large eggs OR 160 grams liquid egg whites
70 grams pea protein isolate
25 grams almond meal
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste, powder or extract
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
125 millilitres coconut water
10 pitted cherries
1 medjool date
100 gram fat-free plain yoghurt
30 millilitres fat-free milk
10 grams raw organic lucuma powder (I use Loving Earth)
30 grams unflavoured micellar casein* (I use Professional Whey)
*If you use a flavoured casein, opt for vanilla
Preheat the oven to 165℃/330℉.
I used silicon muffin molds, but if using standard muffin pans, grease with a little oil spray or line with cupcake liners, and set aside.
Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the rolled oats and process until the oats have been ground fine. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cherries, and process until the batter is smooth.
Divide the muffin batter among the muffin molds. Press a cherry into the centre of each muffin and make sure it is covered by batter.
Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes until golden. Remove and let cool on a wire rack before removing from the molds.
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. The casein will thicken up the frosting after a few minutes. Pipe or spread the frosting on each muffin.
Store leftover muffins in the refrigerator, in an airtight container.
I have included macros for both the whole egg version and egg whites only version. All values are average values for fresh ingredients. I have used values for specific lucuma powder and micellar casein that were used in the recipe. You can find details of these if you click-through via the links provided, above.
If you leave out the cherries, the macros will not change much as each cherry does not add much to them, obviously. However, if you choose to use other fruits or chocolate, nut butters etc, then you will have to factor the macros into the total for the recipe.